Wednesday, May 06, 2020

"True Shepherds Don't Live For Themselves" – In Atlanta, "A Call To Action"

Always slated to be American Catholicism's Main Event of 2020 – yet now, an even more poignant and notable one amid the pandemic that's robbed it of a congregation – from Atlanta's empty Cathedral of Christ the King, the homecoming of Friar Gregory Hartmayer as the Seventh Archbishop of what's become a 1.2 million-member church in the "Capital of the South."

The Installation Mass set to begin at 12.30pm Eastern, here's the livefeed:

...and the worship aid for the drastically slimmed-down rites:

As ever, more to come.


Friday, May 01, 2020

Same "Mother"... Different Church

Fifty days into a Stateside Church in lockdown, this first of May brings the latest edition of a ritual as old as American Catholicism itself.

A practice employed both in hours of celebration and crisis over the last four centuries, the throes of  a pandemic that’s now claimed 65,000 lives across the US will see the nation’s bishops re-consecrate these shores to Our Lady, this time as "Mother of the Church" – a title declared by now-St Paul VI at the close of Vatican II and re-emphasized by the reigning Pope, who gave Mater Ecclesiae a universal feast on the Monday after Pentecost.

The distinct linkage of the Stateside fold to the Mother of God dates to the settlement of Maryland (the lone Catholic colony) on Annunciation Day 1634, a tie bolstered nearly two centuries later under the nation's founding bishop, John Carroll of Baltimore, who dedicated the new people's first Cathedral to Mary Assumed into Heaven, the venue in which Immaculate Conception would be declared the national patroness in 1846.

Yet even for reflecting that vaunted heritage, today's rite likewise underscores a markedly different era: far from the hierarchy's Anglo cradle, the consecration will be led on the opposite coast, in Los Angeles – another place named for the Madonna, whose 5 million faithful (their number doubled in three decades) now comprise the largest US diocese of all time – due to last year's ascent of the first Latino ever to lead the national bench, the Mexican-born Archbishop José Gomez.

With many, if not most diocesan bishops set to replicate the act from their respective quarantines, the brief liturgy in the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels begins at Noon Pacific (3pm Eastern); as ever, here's the livefeed:

...and the text of the Prayer of Consecration itself:
Most Holy Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, you are the fairest fruit of God’s redeeming love;
you sing of the Father’s mercy and accompany us with a mother’s love.

In this time of pandemic we come to you, our sign of sure hope and comfort.
Today we renew the act of consecration and entrustment carried out by those who have gone before us.

With the love of a Mother and Handmaid,
embrace our nation which we entrust and consecrate once again to you, together with ourselves and our families.

In a special way we commend to you
those particularly in need of your maternal care.

Mary, Health of the Sick,
sign of health, of healing, and of divine hope for the sick, we entrust to you all who are infected with the coronavirus.

Mary, Mother of Consolation,
who console with a mother’s love all who turn to you,
we entrust to you all those who have lost loved ones in the pandemic.

Mary, Help of Christians,
who come to our rescue in every trial,
we entrust to your loving protection all caregivers.

Mary, Queen and Mother of Mercy,
who embrace all those who call upon your help in their distress,
we entrust to you all who are suffering in any way from the pandemic.

Mary, Seat of Wisdom,
who were so wonderfully filled with the light of truth,
we entrust to you all who are working to find a cure to this pandemic.

Mary, Mother of Good Counsel,
who gave yourself wholeheartedly to God’s plan for the renewing of all things in Christ, we entrust to you all leaders and policymakers.

Accept with the benevolence of a Mother
the act of consecration that we make today with confidence, and help us to be your Son’s instruments
for the healing and salvation of our country and the world.

Mary, Mother of the Church,
you are enthroned as queen at your Son’s right hand:
we ask your intercession for the needs of our country,
that every desire for good may be blessed and strengthened, that faith may be revived and nourished,
hope sustained and enlightened,
charity awakened and animated;
guide us, we pray, along the path of holiness.

Mary our Mother,
bring everyone under your protection
and entrust everyone to your beloved Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.